The pandemic made an impressive comeback in the land of milk and honey. I think it is time for cautious optimism with regard to data.

In the middle of August I offered the prediction that if we saw 500 deaths in the next two weeks, it meant the vaccines from early 2021 were effect-less as of today.

Luckily, we did not get there. Between the dates Aug 15 and 29, there were around 350 deaths:

Death count in the last two weeks of August clearly below the “No-effect-expectation”
  • The fraction of seniors among those testing positive dropped significantly over these two weeks: from over 6% during all of July till mid-August to just…

Corona in Israel is peaking once again. As I previously pointed out, the current wave deserves as much attention as all of the earlier ones.

This seems to be true despite the vaccines and, presumably, better treatment in the hospitals.

To reach this conclusion I only looked into new positive cases (by age) and total deaths. I knowingly ignored additional data points that are provided by the Ministry of Health, most notably the number of serious cases.

Daily development of serious cases from the government’s official data dashboard

There are some articles, for example, for or against the vaccines, that make their points based only on this data.

I am not…


It is August 2021 in Israel. We are in the middle of the 4th wave of COVID and the numbers look as scary as ever.

Just look at the graph below representing the staggering surge in new cases:

Screenshot from worldometers

To counter this development, the Israeli government is driving a new campaign to vaccinate people again, enforces mask mandates and, of course, threatens a new lockdown.

While we surely can discuss if and how efficient masks and lockdowns are (“if” for the lockdowns and ”how” for the masks) — I have some questions about the vaccine.

Spread

I wrote about the Israeli vaccine…


After I predicted that Israel would have solved the pandemic by the “end of February” in my previous post, it’s time to check the stats.

Unlike in December 2020, when I had to extract the data by copying it from the graphs, the official data site offers now options for direct download:

Option for direct data download on the governmental Corona tracking site

Furthermore, many additional datasets are made publicly available in this portal.

Using these two data sources, I performed a simple analysis, looking for the impact of the vaccine.

To refresh our memory, Israel pursued a very aggressive vaccination plan starting in late December 2020.


Israel was praised for its early handling of COVID-19, then the numbers went up and the country served as a deterrent. A second lockdown is now followed by a third one.

However, Israel is one of the first countries to roll out the new vaccine en masse. As of the time of writing, some 300 thousand people, 3 percent of the population, have received the first dose. There is no question we are witnessing an impressive early number.

By today, Dec 27, 2020, around 400 thousand Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19 and around 3,200 have died of it. Although…


The elections 2020 are called for Joe Biden. Congratulations!

President Trump’s campaign however declines to concede, alleging widespread fraud.

As data scientist in a financial technology company, fraud and especially fraud prevention is something I deal with on a regular basis. And while I do not have the data to substantiate or dismiss the specific claims, I want to dive into the plausibility of some of them as well as the chance to impact the results of the election.

Before starting any analysis, you have to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a gain? (for example money)
  • What is the…


Tomorrow United States will elect a president. Every news outlet talks about it for weeks on end, offering mostly Biden favoring predictions.

As data scientist I’m highly skeptical of the predictions this year.

Regardless whom you support, every outcome is plausible a day before the elections. And I would not put a probability tag on any of them.

Why?

Much of the conventional wisdom is based on polling data. In 2020 I do not buy it. Polling prior elections is a mixture of science and art in its own right, but as all of science it relies heavily on experience…


Get ready for a lot of changes.

Summary

Connecting the dots, I expect to see the following over the next 2–5 years:

→ Many people leaving the cities, especially:

  • Families with kids, if the parents can keep their jobs remotely
  • Elderly people who care more about personal safety than in-person contact

Residential property/rent prices in big cities to rise more slowly or even to decline

Companies reducing their office space in cities, while encouraging their employees to work remotely multiple days a week

Commercial property, especially offices, experiencing a price decline due to decreased demand

→ Unprecedented burst…


This post outlines a few downsides for young data professionals who are considering starting their career in a small company.

Please check out other “Data guy in a small company” posts:

In a small company everything is smaller

One small caveat: “Small company” in this context means a company with a very small data department. The size of the data team is loosely correlated with the company size, so I use “small company”. It explicitly excludes companies that are primarily focused on data but happen to be very small, e.g., data startups.

As mentioned in a previous post, starting a data position in…


Here I pulled together a few pieces of advice for young data scientists/analysts/people who are considering starting their career in a small company.

One small caveat: “Small company” in this context means a company with a very small data department. The size of the data team is loosely correlated with the company size, so I use “small company”. It explicitly excludes companies that are primarily focused on data but happen to be very small, e.g., data startups.

Before you start…

…keep in mind that 99% of companies that are looking to hire a data guy, are hiring because they have…

Data Scientist @Weel. Into Machine Learning, Data analysis using Python, GCP, G Suite. Love to get my hands dirty

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